Shipping a car from the UK to USA for a road trip
Most people don’t seem to get it, and for them I doubt they ever will. When researching doing this trip there was very little to be found online about how to do ship a car out to the States for a holiday, if it was possible and advise for doing it. People would ask in forums like the Lonely Planet or Pistonheads and they would be met with a standard answer from those who have never done it: “Why would you do this, it is easier and cheaper to hire a car in the USA – you’ll get a comparable or better car for what it costs?”
To answer the why
I love cars
You have to be really into cars, and own something you’d much rather be driving than a hire car. Ford Mustang Convertibles and Cameros are easy to get at the major airports and are probably the default choice for tourists on a vacation road trip. I have rented them a few times and they are fine but far from exciting to drive. Faced with six weeks and some very long days behind the wheel I wanted something better than that.
I like an adventure
There is also an element of adventure. Renting a car is easy; turn up at the airport, collect the keys, drive around, return to the airport and fly home. No worrying about it being damaged or breaking down. Shipping your own car brings an element of risk and a lot of planning. If your idea of a holiday is turning up to a resort and relaxing in it, this type of thing probably isn’t going to be enjoyable. What if the car breaks down, is involved in an accident, is stolen? It could get stuck in customs, the ship could sink. Even obvious things like the steering wheel being on the wrong side of the road would put some off.
High-end car rental
It is possible to hire a Porsche in the States and Hertz offer up a few decent options. You will need to be flying into a major hub like JFK or LAX as most airports won’t have them. When I was looking for a comparison to rent a Porsche 911 months in advance for this trip I couldn’t get one from LAX so they clearly don’t have many, I could however get a Porsche Boxster or a Cayman. It isn’t cheap at over US$7,000 . And it is still a basic car with very little soul. Reliable though and the air conditioning will be ice cold.